It sounds like some nautical-themed night of debauchery gone wrong but, in fact, it's just another day in the world of golf.
Sitting in his sumptuous office up in the garret of the grand, neo-classical edifice that is the Royal & Ancient clubhouse, Peter Dawson, the chief executive of the game's governing body, peers out on to a sun-drenched Old Course and gives a reflective sigh. "It's been pretty busy," he exhales. You can say that again. The proposed ban on anchoring the putter to a part of the body, the ongoing issue of the men-only R&A and its selection of all-male Open venues, the cosmetic surgery to the Old Course and the palaver surrounding Vijay Singh and his use of a banned substance. Given the welter of issues that have been battered about with all the wildness of a high handicapper in a stiff breeze over the past few months, you would expect Dawson to be constantly grimacing like a turtle that had just broken wind in its own shell. On the contrary, you sense he actually enjoys the various stooshies that have developed. "Golf still provides huge controversy which is a good thing," added the 64-year-old. "It would be a shame if it was dull."
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